UK plastic surgeons concerned about popularity of ‘Brazilian butt lifts’

October 13, 2019  20:26

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) will consider how safe the Brazilian Lift procedure is in the UK, CNN reported.

An expert team will evaluate the latest data and decide whether to adhere to the previous guidelines published in 2018, which strongly warned surgeons about the operation due to its high mortality rate. If supported, it would essentially prohibit the procedure in the UK, although surgeons could theoretically ignore this recommendation.

Concern over this operation, which has grown in popularity over the past five years, is associated with a number of serious illnesses and deaths.Two Britons are known to have died following the surgery, and it is feared that globally the number of fatalities could be in the hundreds, BAAPS president and plastic surgeon Paul Harris told CNN.

An operation costing more than £ 6,000 (about $ 7,400) in the UK involves removing fat from one part of the patient’s body and inserting it into the buttocks to increase their size and roundness. But there is a risk of fat entering large veins, after which it can enter the heart or brain, causing a “fat embolism”, which can be fatal.

According to an anonymous survey conducted in 2017 among 692 surgeons around the world, 32 reported fatalities and 103 reported non-fatal cases of fat embolism.

"I am still concerned about patient death," Harris told CNN, saying people were opting for the procedure to achieve a rounded look or a Kim Kardashian-style figure. "At this stage there's no guarantee the fat will not travel (between the muscles, causing potential harm)," he added.

Of particular concern to BAAPS is plastic surgery tourism, because of countries' varying levels of safety regulation. Harris said the procedure was particularly popular in Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico, and was also performed in Turkey.

"I've just had a patient who had this procedure abroad. She didn't die, but she was septic and in intensive care -- and as a result she lost all of her fingers," he said. "She was in hospital for eight months and had 23 operations. And she's the lucky one because she survived."

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